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News-in-brief / 12.22.15

Super-enhancers, amplified: Study of noncoding genome regions suggests common mechanism activating cancer driver genes

By Broad Communications

In a new paper published online by Nature Genetics, researchers from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) and the Broad Institute systematically investigated somatic copy number alterations of noncoding regions across cancers, integrating genomic, epigenomic, and transcriptomic data.

The team found six super-enhancer regions that are focally amplified across different cancer types, including two that are associated with overexpression of the MYC oncogene, suggesting that this type of modification may be a common mechanism activating cancer driver genes. The team, which was led by senior author Matthew Meyerson and first authors Xiaoyang Zhang, Peter Choi, and Joshua Francis – all of Broad and DFCI – also used genome-editing technologies to validate the oncogenic function of these focally amplified super-enhancers.